Sunday, October 21, 2007

Can You Get Good Deals Shopping in the Caribbean?

If you like to shop, a cruise can be a great opportunity to spend money. You're visiting lots of different ports, often different countries, and you'll never have to go far to find shops. In fact, there are lots of shopping opportunities just on board the ship.

But are you going to find good deals?

Well, maybe.

Let's say you're taking a cruise to the Caribbean, a popular destination for U.S. ships and one that is known to be a shopping mecca. Here's the lowdown on what kind of deals you can find:

In the Caribbean, you can expect to save 20% on French perfumes and well-known brands such as Gucci, Fendi, and Vuitton. Be wary of prices lower than that since dealers of luxury brands will be dropped from distribution if they're caught undercutting. If a deal seems to good to be true, it's probably a knock-off.

Also be wary if during the port talks, they recommend certain stores in port, as they may be getting a cut. Deals in the ship's shops aren't necessarily that great either.

In truth, you can usually find as good of--or better--deals shopping in your discount stores and factory outlets back home as in the Caribbean.

That said, one area where you can get some good deals is when it comes to cigarettes and liquor.

The prices aren't necessarily lower but in the U.S. and many other countries these items are taxed heavily, so in the Caribbean you can get them for less.

Now before you consider buying something illegal (I know that wouldn't cross your mind, but I've got to put this notice out for good measure), know that your packs and bags will be searched for security before you are allowed back on the cruise ship.

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